Karen Koren: There’s no one quite like Billy

Billy Connolly. Pic: Comp
Billy Connolly. Pic: Comp
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IT’S great news that Billy Connolly is touring Scotland this autumn with his High Horse Tour. He will be playing four nights at the Usher Hall - very exciting, I am look forward to getting my tickets.

He was the first stand-up comedian I ever saw, and that was in the 70s at the Usher Hall. He was better known then as a folk singer in the Humblebums, with guitarist Tam Harvey and singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty. I so wish I could have seen him in those days, doing his comedy between songs.

Billy never did a show without featuring his folk singing background and his banjo skills. He was a mean banjo player, which alas may not feature in this High Horse Tour.

The first of his shows I saw featured a routine called The Crucifixion about Jesus and his 12 disciples at the Last Supper. It was shocking and hilarious and explained how Jesus could turn water into wine and make a fortune. Another routine I remember vividly was about ‘the jobbie weecher’. No one had spoken about such personal things in such a funny way before. It was ground-breaking and trail- blazing; nobody before or since has been able to come out with such rude or risqué material and not offend.

There may have been the odd gaff now and then, but I have seen Billy’s shows many times.

He wore the most outrageous clothes – the black leotard, the banana boots and the shirt longer at the back than the front. Nothing we don’t see every day, now. His personal style cannot be beaten.

Each time I saw him he just got better and better. The routine he did about his father, after his death, was hilarious and a homage to the man.

I know that he will not disappoint this time either and I am sure his recent illnesses will get its fair share of humour.

I have only met Billy a few times, the second time was after a ten year gap and he remembered me - now that was impressive.

Go get your tickets now; a show not to be missed.